slow-roasted pork shoulder
At her New York City restaurant, Porchetta, Sara Jenkins serves up porchetta sandwiches as they do in Italy: simple slices of the tender, succulent meat, crispy bits and all, on a good, crusty roll. In her book, Olives & Oranges, co-written by La Cucina Italiana food editor Mindy Fox, Jenkins offers a recipe that lets home cooks approximate her porchetta by cooking boneless pork shoulder for a long time at low heat. To read more about Sara and her restaurant, look here.
- 20 fresh sage leaves
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves only
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons wild fennel pollen (see note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons medium-coarse sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 (3 3/4- to 4-pound) boneless pork shoulder (with skin, not tied)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
Heat oven to 250º.
Finely chop sage, thyme, rosemary and garlic together (you can do this by pulsing in a food processor or by hand). Place mixture in a small bowl, add fennel pollen, salt and pepper, and stir together well.
With a sharp knife, score pork skin in a crosshatch diamond pattern, making 1/8-inch deep cuts 1 inch apart. With a paring knife, make about 10 incisions (about 1/2 inch deep) all over the pork and stuff with about 1/3 of the herb mixture. Tie pork into a compact roast with kitchen twine, brush oil over skin and rub all over with remaining herb mixture.
Set pork skin side up in a roasting pan. Roast for 2 hours.
Pour wine over pork and baste with wine and accumulated juices. Continue roasting, basting once every half hour, until skin is well browned and the meat is spoon-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours more.
Remove from oven and let meat rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Photo by G. Giraldo
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